My favourite talk or event

Day 7 of the #JuneEdTechChallenge, and the question of what is or has been my favourite talk or event?

Easy … FOTE – Future of Technology in Education. Hosted by UCL at Senate House every October, tickets were issued on a first-come, first-served basis; a total of 300 available. I was lucky to get tickets for my first FOTE in 2010, and attended every year until the last in 2014 (except 2013, other things were afoot that year!).

(I so wanted ALTC to be my favourite ‘talk or event’, and it is definitely a firm favourite, but it is FOTE I used to look forward to most … and miss most now I can’t go).

A full day of talks and networking is something I can’t really comprehend at the moment (lockdown and pandemic restrictions, you know), but this was THE event I used to look forward to. I met so many people in my network here for the first time … James Clay, Mark Power, Sue Beckingham, Steve Wheeler, Rachel Challen, Robin Gissing, Matt Lingard, etc. FOTE guaranteed a full house of like-minded, techno-savvy ‘educationalists’, from senior academics to IT or LT ‘grunts’, those with the power to approve purchase orders and those with the dream to be able to submit one. FOTE was a coming together of everyone and anyone in the world of HE and FE (not so much corporate learning I don’t think?) and to share in the collective view of “what is the future of technology in education?”

For those who remember it, I salute you. For those who wish they remember it, I can only hope we can get something like this off the ground again, and ask the question “what is the future of technology in education?” Perhaps, in this post-pandemic world where technology has enabled all events to continue online, it is something that can be resurrected and for everyone. Anyone?

Who knows, perhaps a FOTE21 or FOTE22 event is on the horizon?

  • In 2012 I was honoured to be asked to join the organising team and help run the day, running the Twitter account. It was here I really fine-tuned my approach to running a Twitter-stream, not only introducing and sharing tweets by the side-along tweeting of important facts, images, links from the talks. THAT was quite a day I can tell you! And I had pretty much no time for networking or socialising either; the only downside to being at FOTE!! I produced a number of twitter-archive videos for the FOTE12 YouTube too – you can still watch them here.

Below are a few of the more memorable talks from FOTE 2010-14:

FOTE10: Matt Lingard – We have the technology. We have the capability, all we need is love –
FOTE11: James Clay – The student as the agent of change –
FOTE12: Nicola Whitton ‘What is the Future of Digital Games and Learning’ –
FOTE13: Diana Laurillard ‘The Pedagogies for Large-Scale Student Guidance’ –
FOTE14: Steve Wheeler ‘Digital Learning Futures: Mind the Gap!’ –
  • This is Day 7 the 30-day JuneEdTechChallenge. Follow the challenge on my JuneEdTechChallenge blog tag and on Twitter using the #JuneEdTechChallenge hashtag. And write your own entries too. The list of challenges is as follows:

Photo credit: Frank Steiner